Ever have leftovers in your pantry of dry goods that you are not quite sure what to do with? If you are like me and this past Christmas you made gingerbread cookies you possibly have some leftover molasses. I let the bottle sit in my pantry for the last several months. The partially empty bottle was calling my name, taking up mental real estate as well as precious real estate in my pantry, unsure of what to use these last few tablespoons. How about an easy Sloppy Joe Recipe.
So in an effort to reduce clutter in my mind and in my house I have been looking to use everything in my house to enrich or better my life in some way or move it on. Dinner tonight was a perfect example of using what we already have on hand in order to save money and I was able to clean off extra space on my shelves. If you have been following me long enough, you know that my family and I thrive on fully organic meals and strive for clean eats with nothing processed. Fed up with stuffed peppers, lasagna, spaghetti, tacos, meatloaf and burgers, I wanted to find something tasty for the kids yet still fall into our organic, clean eating regimen.
Pulling out the bottle of molasses calling my name and the defrosted beef, my gears began to grind and I recalled a childhood favorite: Sloppy Joe’s. This recipe is super simple, helps to clear out those mostly used Christmas cookie ingredients, and the ingredients are all clean and unprocessed. Yet, how to get these messy hamburger style noshers to taste as good as those over-processed, canned, sugar laden Sloppy Joe’s…easy with these items straight from your pantry.
3 TBSP Molasses (I like Black Strap, just a bit of extra zing and zip without adding anything extra)
1/3 c tomato sauce (plain) or 1 can tomato paste with 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
1 TBSP Dijon mustard (you can substitute for Honey or yellow mustard)
dash of liquid aminos (this is for salt flavoring without all the sodium)
1 TBSP Kirkland Organic No Salt Seasoning (you can use any kind, however I love what is inside Costco’s brand)
dash of garlic and onion powder, dash of cumin for a hint of smoky flavor
1/4 red onion, chopped
Mix all the wet ingredients into a bowl first to really meld the molasses and the tomato sauce mixture. Slowly begin to fold in your dry seasonings, add more or less based on your level of taste. The same can also be said for the molasses based on taste. Add apple cider vinegar as well for more zing but be careful not to make your mixture too wet. Finally fold in your onions.
Once your meat is completely browned in a pan, add your mixture and simmer for 10 minutes to let the flavors soak into your meat. Serve over warmed hamburger buns sided with sweet potato fries (I like mine baked with some rosemary) or with hot peppers for that sweet and spicy taste. Bon appetit!